Defenseman Chris Summers and forwards Kyle Chipchura, Andy Miele, Brett MacLean and Viktor Tikhonov were extended offers by the Coyotes prior to the 5pm Monday deadline.
An NHL team issuing a qualifying offer does not mean a player will necessarily sign with that team. A player could opt to sign overseas with another league, but the NHL team still maintains negotiating rights to that player.
Forwards Brock Trotter, Gilbert Brule and Colin Long and defenseman Nick Ross were not extended an offer, making them unrestricted free agents on July 1.
The Coyotes still have interest in Brule, but were not going to qualify him at his present salary of 1.8 million per season.
“We still have interest in Brule,” said Coyotes’ Asst. GM Brad Treliving. “He was on a significant contract. We picked him up on re-entry waivers so we only needed to pay half of that salary, but we have significant interest in exploring a deal, but not at the numbers he was at.”
Trotter joined the Pirates in trade with the Montreal Canadiens AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, in exchange for defenseman Garrett Stafford.
He played 35 games with the Pirates, recording 31 points, until suffering an injury in February. He was loaned to the St. John’s IceCaps as part of an AHL Clear Day Roster transaction involving goalie Peter Mannino and Kenndal McArdle.
Trotter returned to action with two games left in the IceCaps’ regular season, and would lead the team in scoring in the Calder Cup playoffs.
“He’s somebody who we just moved beyond,” said Treliving. “He was good during his time in (Portland), but we have several young players coming in and we wanted to look at how we can tweak our roster and this gives us that flexibility.”
Colin Long has endured numerous injuries during the span of his three-year pro career. Long hadn’t played a full season due to a series of concussions, including last season in Portland that saw him limited to just 19 games.
Long signed with the German club Düsseldorfer EG earlier this month.
“It was a tough decision to let Colin go because he had a really good camp with us last season, but he missed 2/3rds of the season, and if you look back it’s really been his entire pro career. He hasn’t been able to stay healthy over the last three years. We haven’t forgotten about him. We like him a lot, but what he needs right now is to play a lot games and stay healthy for a season.”
After having a career season in goals, assists and points with the Pirates, the Coyotes opted not to qualify defenseman Nick Ross.
Ross, who was a first round draft of the Coyotes in 2007, got off to a slow start in Portland, playing once in the first 16 games of the regular season, however, by the end of the season he was perhaps the Pirates’ best defenseman on the ice as he finished with 18 points (5g, 13a) in 35 games with 15 of those points coming in the final 25 games of the regular season.
“He played really well in the second half of the season,” said Treliving. “With Nick, it was really a question of looking at our depth chart. We have a lot of defensemen. We got a another turning pro in (Brandon) Gormley and we have a lot of guys – Michael Stone, Max Goncharov, David Rundblad and Chris Summers – knocking on the door. We only have so many positions and we felt it was time to move on and give Nick a chance to start fresh somewhere else.”
According to the Hartford Courant, MSG, owners of the Connecticut Whale have ended its business relationship with Howard Baldwin and Whalers Sports and Entertainment.
WSE took over business and marketing control of the team in 2010 in order to boost attendance in the city with hopes of maybe luring and NHL franchise back to the city.
The article indicated MSG will assume all control back from WSE immediately.
Baldwin and WSE have been mired in a financial mess since the beginning, largely due to it’s outdoor game in Feb. 2011, which left the team with a large amount of debt.
The Whale’s lease expires at the end of this upcoming season, which will create an uncertain future for the organization.